In North Carolina, the words expungement and expunction are used interchangeably. Both terms refer to a process by which an individual previously convicted of a crime may ask the court to remove their conviction, charges or arrest from their record. There are various reasons why an individual may want to seek an expunction of their record.
Whether an individual has merely been arrested and charged with a crime (and later acquitted or had the charges dismissed) or was actually convicted, that person is likely to face difficulty in securing certain jobs, professional licenses and financial aid. An expunged record may allow that individual to pursue these opportunities more freely.
A person who is granted an expunction may find it easier to apply for a job without disclosing their previous arrest or conviction. This may alleviate a person’s fear of being charged with perjury or fired for not disclosing it. Both juvenile and adult criminal records can be expunged.
There are some instances in which an expungement of your records won’t matter though. One instance is if you are scheduled for an immigration hearing. It’s unlikely that the federal judge presiding over such a case will place any value on an expungement when weighing the merits of your case. The court may instead continue to view your charges as valid even if an expunction has already occurred.
You must understand that an expunction on your record doesn’t necessarily relieve you from every penalty that you may have been ordered to pay or serve in your case. Not every defendant qualifies to file for an expungement of their records, either. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand whether you might qualify for an expunction and if so, help you file for one in your case here in Bolivia or elsewhere in North Carolina.